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Tribeca FF 2014 Films, On Your Radar: 6
by Karen Pecota

Oscar-winning filmmaker of The Cove, Louie Psihoyos takes on a new venture with his latest documentary "6". He is not simply out to make another environmental focused movie on species extinction but to start a movement. Psihoyos says, "To start a movement is a different mindset than making a great movie. A movement is something that changes minds and hearts. It's a different goal and a higher objective." He adds that his goal is to get a billion people activated around the premise of his new film in order to create change. Necessary to save our planet.

The film's title "6" is in reference to being on the verge of our planet's sixth extinction (the fifth being that of the dinosaurs). Psihoyos's "6" screened at the Tribeca Film Festival as an unfinished documentary. The first of its kind to be billed as such at the festival. The information revealed was shocking but to think that Psihoyo's team had more hours of film footage explaining the dangers our planet will face due to human ignorance is mind-boggling.

Psihoyo's film material features endangered sea life being sold on the black market for food and remedies in China (and abroad) to exposing the amount of carbon in the air humans inhale. The use of customized cameras along with his team going undercover to document their findings is more than bold. Impressive are the results of their work, though dangerous at times, has made an impact eliminating human consumption of delicacies taken illegally from endangered sea life, i.e. shark fin soup in Asia and whale meat prepared at famous sea food restaurant in Southern California. Now documented is a 70% reduction of consumption in Asian restaurants for the soup. The restaurant preparing whale meat has since closed due to the negative publicity.

This is a big issue says Psihoyo. "This is the biggest story in the world and it's not being told." He continues, "My planetology friends tell me that World War II will be a footnote compared to what going on right now. It's the most important story because it's not just about losing species, it's about losing the biologic engine of the planet that supports all life."

Psihoyo explains that he was at Sundance with his film The Cove. He had taken a couple of books to read and shares how he got wind of the sixth extinction. He first read "Terra" by Michael Novacek about the sixth mass extinction and found it depressing. He picked up the other book "A Reef in Time" by John Veron (he is in the movie "6"). Veron notes that previous to every mass extinction on the planet there's always a carbon spike. It's almost always a precondition to mass extinction." Psihoyo realizes, "this is the biggest story in the world and nobody is paying attention." Advised to not touch the story because it was too big, Psihoyo could not back down from the knowledge he now had that needed to be shared. He felt that the only way to tell the world was to make an emotional film that would create an activist movement.  Psihoyo's documentary is scheduled to hit the theaters in the fall of 2014.

Coming out of the venue after the screening of “6” andthere for all to see was a life-like projected video message about an endangered sea life (whales) on one of the skyscrapers. It was shocking, beautiful and impactful. A message well-stated. A message that will be remembered.